Drunk Thanksgiving? What does it take to get through holidays?

With skeletons in the closet and elephants in the room, it is often a stressful time when families get together for the holidays.

Whether Mom doesn’t approve of your new girlfriend or daughter-in-law doesn’t get asked to help with the meal, little tensions can make enjoying the day tough.

I ran across a New York Daily News story that asked two life coaches to take families through some example conflicts and how to deal with them. Here are some of the conflicts they addressed:

“1. Your mother-in-law insists on helping with the cooking – but keeps getting in the way.

2. You accepted a Thanksgiving invitation, but now you’re having second thoughts, thinking you’d rather spend the day elsewhere – or even on your own.

3. The guys slump in front of the TV to watch sports after the meal and do nothing to help.

4. Your sulky “New Moon”-addict kids set up camp in their bedroom, obsessively watching “Twilight” on DVD. They refuse to come out into the light.

5. Your mom is prone to baring her soul at Thanksgiving, reminiscing and ruminating on what she doesn’t have to be thankful for. It usually involves her going into intimate details about why her husband left her for another woman.

6. Your sister drops a bombshell during dinner, announcing that she’s getting divorced.

7. Your uncle has too much too drink and makes an unhelpful comment about your sister’s weight and her divorce.”

What do you think of these situations? Do they sound familiar? What would your solutions be?

The life coaches advise in the piece NOT to drink during the holidays, but I have to say that Michael does a lot better at my family’s house when he’s got one or two drinks in him. He relaxes more and just lets things roll off of him. I do agree that getting drunk is not going to help anyone’s situation. There is a difference between one drink to relax and being trashed. (I’m planning to make this festive pomegranate-champagne punch for the adults. This is the non-alcoholic version for the kids.)

What are you worried about most: the inlaws, the kids, your siblings, your parents? Who fights the most? What bad behaviors have you learned to expect? Do you imbibe cocktails during holidays? Do they help ease the situation or fuel the fire?

76 comments Add your comment

Kelly

November 24th, 2009
11:15 am

My biggest worry is that I may slip and tell my boyfriend’s brother off. I am more worried about that than cooking dinner for the boyfriend. The boyfriend’s baby brother is a lawyer and like every lawyer he wants to argue all points in his favor. However, he is wrong more than right on many issues. Also, I may not do things that are totally correct, like serve red wine cold (which was put in the fridge by mistake) and then sit there through the entire meal and complain about it. Which happened a few weeks ago when he and his girlfriend came for dinner. I am also worried that once I get onto my oldest about table manners, she’ll fly off the handle and pout in her room as she did the year before last.

Thanksgiving is a rough time of year for me since my father passed away, that was our holiday and my mom and I had Christmas. As I plan the menu for dinner, I cry. Thankfully, I have this wonderful boyfriend that is doing his best to help me plan for Thursday. This is the first time since my dad passed away that I am cooking for someone other than my daughters.

I am sure everything will go well, with my daughters, my boyfriend’s children, and his brother…what could really go wrong.

FCM

November 24th, 2009
11:19 am

I am with Michael a glass of JD and most extended family events are tolerable. Although I am not advocating getting drunk at all. Most often I end up stone cold sober at these things anway. They are not fun. My Mom nags (everyone) until a fight starts. Dad and brother love the football and that starts Mom asking why we cannot do something as a family. Eventually someone brings up some past transgressions and that gets something else going. I do love the holidays, but they are stressful.

Sheri

November 24th, 2009
11:23 am

OMG, first off, the title made me crack up before I even read the rest!!! But here is my theory…. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, has dysfunction in our families, in some for or the other!!! And during majority of the year we choose to not get involved in full family gatherings because of said dysfunctions. But for some reason, when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, families HAVE to get together in their entirety because someone once said so. So therefore, yes I believe that the drinking at a social pace is a must when put in the dysfunctional situations!!! Yes there will always be that one family member in the crowd that will blow it out, but to just keep a few in you to get through it is a must!! Happy Holidays all!!!

Jesse's Girl

November 24th, 2009
11:48 am

Its a frickin sitcom with us. 2 years ago, The Boy shot out a bulb in the chandelier ( with his BB gun my crazy uncle gave him)….causing my grandmother to scream…”They’re shooting at us!” She’s a blue-blood from the country and thinks we live in the hood just because we can get to Atlanta in less than an hour:)There is always some sily slip-up about someone’s tendency to drink too much…usually mine:) And last year…my uncle gave the prayer and his last line was..”And I am especially thankful Lord that Nancy stayed with me after my affair….that was all you God, all you.” One year my brother’s g-friend attempted a turducken and the cebter was raw….like it was still quacking. But to avoid any embarrassment, my brother risked death-by-duck-poisoning and ate a bite or 3:) I flat out told her….”Babe…no way I’m eating that…have a glass of wine”

So yes…I drink more than usual during Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas. I find that I enjoy the train wreck much more if my wine glass is always half full:)

lmno

November 24th, 2009
11:57 am

I generally just hold my breath until its over. I tell myself over and over again, “Don’t express any opinions”

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
11:59 am

Guess my post is too long, so I will split it:
Raising my hand for dysfunctional families…yesiree!

Like they say, “You can pick your friends but you are stuck with your relatives!”

We will be here at my house with our immediate family and my sister. We gave up traveling to family years ago. We have invited family to come here but that has not happened in a while.

I visit with my sister ( once or twice a year) when I am out of town at a meeting near her. I usually come in a day early and we book a night in a nice hotel together …stay up all night and talk!

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
12:03 pm

Tried to finish my comment Theresa but I cannot get back in. Maybe you can find it?

Allie

November 24th, 2009
12:07 pm

It’s part of the joy of spending time with family; if you can’t handle it, don’t go or don’t invite them to yours for dinner. No need to blow things out of proportion – attend or skip, why make a big deal out of it?

JJ

November 24th, 2009
12:07 pm

Well this time of year I am SO Thankful for a small family that gets along……

We will head down to my Mom’s around noon. She will cook the turkey, potatoes, etc. My brother is bringing a side dish and I’m bringing a veggie plate for appetizers.

Mom will do all the cooking, since she loves to do that when the entire family is together. The rest of us will help out, put a puzzle together, watch football and generally enjoy the whole family being together. My daughter has been missing family events since being away at college. This is the first time since July we have all been together……..

penguinmom

November 24th, 2009
12:07 pm

Fortunately, my sweet husband decided that we should stay home this year. Last T-giving weekend ended with me offending m-in-law and her not speaking to me. Instead we’ll go for a shorter, less stressful weekend in December.

Our kids get along with their cousins on both sides really well so that is never a problem. Really the only concern is in-laws. My husband is not thrilled with my sister and her husband and I’m not thrilled with his parents. I tend to be very forthright in my speech and so I always end up saying something that offends. I can hold in the comments for about 36 hours but, after that, I get too comfortable, forget where I am and state my opinion about something. So we try to keep visits fairly short. :-)

We don’t usually drink so that’s not an issue. I don’t know how it would affect my relationship with his parents. I’m afraid it would make me comfortable too quickly and I would say something earlier in the weekend.

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
12:19 pm

Am I the only one who would be upset if an invited guest ( see article point #2) declined and then showed up with an expensive bottle of champagne? I do feel that social graces are deteriorating and some folks want to show up to venues at the last minute only if something better does not turn up..might be better to go to _______’s house than sit home alone. I do not like last minute surprises when I have planned a menu and table setting. I would be happy for anyone to come but not after they have already declined.

I did like number 9 and may try it, on Thursday.

My husband and son do the dishes as they do not purchase the food, set the table, prepare the food or serve it and I think it is only fair for them to clean up. If they want to the the 3 previous things, I will be THRILLED to clean up.

In case the other half of my comment evaporates, the short version is that the road only goes one way with my husband’s family and thus no one has ever been here for any holiday. My Dad does not like to travel…if we want to see him…we go to see him at his house and I will do so in a few weeks.

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
12:21 pm

ooops…4 previous things…

Photius

November 24th, 2009
12:30 pm

Anyone who writes that their family holiday has never been ruined by relatives is just flat out lying. We’ve banned driving hours to be with relatives with have very little in common with, locked up, watching stupid TV with booze flowing… Nuts to that. We have a happy Thanksgiving by ourselves with no more relatives.

FCM

November 24th, 2009
12:42 pm

Penguinmom your cracking me up. I cannot recall which Christmas it was but, my MIL kept insisting that this and that were facts in the Bible. I bit my tounge. I am not a theologian but I have read the book a few times and know the parts of the Christmas story she was discussing.

Well I had about all I could take and was ready to head home — we still had 3 days left in the visit. She said something about the Wise Men. Then went on about how “Everbody knows there were only 3!” I looked at her and said “Can you show me the verse in the Bible that says it was 3 wise men?” My husband got so ticked at me! His Mom kept going well “FCM of course it was 3 they have names.” You know she quoted the names from the song We Three Kings! I again just looked at her and said, Yes I have heard that but when I try to look it up in the Bible, even with the Concordance I cannot seem to locate that “fact”.

Well I guess it is no surprise I am not married into that family anymore is it? Funny thing is, I actually liked my MIL!

Jesse's Girl

November 24th, 2009
12:45 pm

Ha!!! With the exception of the New Moon Emo thing….everything else you listed has happened. More than once:)

mom2alex&max

November 24th, 2009
12:56 pm

Something funny about Thanksgiving. I usually have ZERO expectations on it. For one, it’s not really my holiday, I am much more a Xmas person. So it’s usually very little plans, or we end up at someone’s cousin’s in-laws or it’s just the 4 of us with my parents. And yet, probably BECAUSE I have no expectations, it turns out to be a great holiday, lovely day, great food, relaxed people.

Come Xmas, i have all this expectations, I work like a demon to have the perfect holiday happening, and something or someone almost always ends up ruining it.

Go figure.

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
12:58 pm

FCM….WHAT? I never knew the Wisemen had names. I did know that the wisemen were not necessarily THREE… but that three gifts were brought.

I just sang the first verse and refrain by heart ( to see what the names were in it) NADA and so I checked this web site with words:

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/e/wethree.htm

I do not see any names in that version but maybe there are other versions? Wow…this is something I never knew…maybe someone else does. I love trivia.

I do know many folks argue about the fact that the kings did not arrive when Jesus was a baby in the manger, due to the fact that they did not just buzz over there in their convertibles but had to walk a long journey. Some thoughts are that he was nearly 2 years old. Who knows?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 24th, 2009
1:12 pm

mjg — did you find it or do I need to go in a look for it??

JATL

November 24th, 2009
1:16 pm

I’m just going to spend Thanksgiving trying to be thankful for what I do have instead of what I don’t. This will be our first T-day since my mother died, so I know I will probably be in a bit of a funk afterward. We have a nice Thanksgiving planned at my Uncle’s house. We’ve almost always spent T-day with that side of the family, and almost none of them share my views on politics, religion, social issues, etc. Usually I just ignore most things or move on, but I’m hoping this year since it’s a smaller crowd no one feels free to get on some diatribe. I will be going out with friends the next night, so I guess I can toss back a few extra if it’s been extremely rough!

Lori

November 24th, 2009
1:25 pm

I have to coordinate 2 dinners. Both my family and in-laws live in town and they both expect us to be there. No way we could do a joint thing, because the 2 sides are just too different. I usually enjoy my family, but my in-laws, oh groan. If I have to hear my husbands extremely ignorant but opinionated grandmother tell me what I am doing wrong raising my son, I swear I’ll spit on her. Like her son (my father in law) turned out so perfect – ha! I just have to turn off my ears and grin and nod until it’s over!!

Tiffany

November 24th, 2009
1:36 pm

MJG- the names are Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior.

Michelle

November 24th, 2009
1:41 pm

I used to really enjoy Thanksgiving when I lived at home (except for driving all over the state!) Now, I don’t particularly care for it. It is typically just my hubby and son, sometimes the step sons. Wellll…for some reason, they all still think they need a 10 course meal! Guess who gets stuck cooking and cleaning it all?! Yep!

One year it was so depressing, I actually got fall down drunk. It was a very humiliating time. I had to have my son (who was only 2-3) go get the hubby. Needless to say, I don’t drink anymore!

Thankfully, we’ll have a little bit of company this year! I enjoy enternaining (on a real laid-back scale)! I like having people just drop in!

Mike In Woodstock

November 24th, 2009
1:45 pm

Really? Do we have to do this again already? Buy stock in Miller lite or any alcohol related company.

TC

November 24th, 2009
1:53 pm

I drive to my mother’s for The Day with her, my aunt and my cousin who has not spoken to my aunt since the cousin’s kid was born (18 years ago. My partner (same sex, different race) is not invited. Drive back the next day to do it all over again on Friday with the partner’s family, at my house. My family is invited, but will not come. (That is a good thing. Trust me.) Good thing I like the partner’s family much better than I like my own. The only thing worse than having to do The Day, is having to do The Day, twice. But at least the 2nd time will be much better than the first.

Roekest

November 24th, 2009
1:55 pm

“What does it take to get through holidays?”

Good ol’ American Fortitude. And a big, fat bowl of marijuana at the end of the night doesn’t hurt either!

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
1:57 pm

OH WOW…I am speechless. I NEVER knew the names of the wisemen. Is this actually in the Bible? I cannot find it …everything I see says this is tradition. Does anyone know?

Also, in the song, I have always thought these names were the GIFTS they brought: GOLD, FRANKENCENSE ( sp?) and Myrrh ( sp?).

No Theresa, my comment never made it. Did you ever get the e-mail I sent you with a question?
I never heard back. Not sure if you are too busy or it just got lost in cyberspace. Thanks!

FCM

November 24th, 2009
1:59 pm

Tiffany — thank you I could not recall the names.

MJG Here is what I can find of how they got named “Of course, our imagination is filled by the images that artists have provided. There’s a lovely ancient mosaic in Ravenna, 1,500 years old, showing the kings, sorry, I mean, wise men, in oriental garb of trousers and Phrygian caps, carrying their gifts past palm trees towards the star that they followed.

Their names are picked out in bright tesserae above them: Balthassar, Melchior, Gaspar. Those names are not in the Bible either.”

Further (if anyone is interested) “At the Epiphany three events were marked: the birth of Jesus (called in prophecy Emmanuel, meaning “God with us”); the manifestation of this saviour to the Gentiles (us), represented by the Magi; and the baptism of Jesus, as an adult, when a voice from heaven was heard saying “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It’s with this baptism that St Mark chose to begin his Gospel.” Many believe that the Epiphany of the Magi is 12 days after Jesus’ birth.

I have to say what I have to my Sunday School students and children. I realize I am old to (them) but I really was not walking around on earth during the time of Jesus’ birth. Therefore, I could not know how many wise men or their names. I do know the Gospel of Matthew is the only one that records their arrival. See Matthew 2: 1 – 12. It is just before the exedous of the Holy Family too Egypt.

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
2:11 pm

Thanks for the information :). I knew all about the Matthew account but had never heard of the names but wondered if they were actually in the Bible or found somewhere else. Learned something new today.

Are they in the THREE KINGS song…maybe another version than the one I read?

Midas

November 24th, 2009
2:32 pm

In my family, the three wisest men are named Larry, Darryl, and Darryl. Tells you something, doesn’t it?

PBR and Jager

November 24th, 2009
2:34 pm

A cooler packed with beer and shots, placed discreetly behind the Lazy Boy at arms’ reach, keeps me going. Bon Thanksgiving, everyone. Urp!

jess

November 24th, 2009
2:37 pm

Hot steamy sex, all kinds of it!…and warm dinners! weekend of long relaxation, followed by more drunk sex..thats the way!

Lawrencevillemom

November 24th, 2009
2:46 pm

Thanksgiving is a very difficult holiday for me – Our son died at 17 months during the Thanksgiving break in 1990 and then a year and a day later we my dad passed away. Even though my mom is gone now too – we still try to get the whole family together (my side + my husband’s mom/boyfriend) and have a nice time…the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, lots of food, football and board games. Everyone pitches in with the prep/cooking and also for cleanup (males are definitely not excluded). No alcohol except what gets poured over the Turkey but we still have a good time. After all these years the one thing that I try to hold onto is that even though they aren’t perfect (none of us are) they are still my family and if I am lucky enough to still have them then I should savor the opportunity.

FCM

November 24th, 2009
2:47 pm

MJG I have seen them at least to the side of the verses, so that if a trio sings We Three Kings, each knows which to sing. I have not located same online though. I would think the verses match what is listed in the mosiac.

The gifts of G, F, M are listed in the account Matthew. That is what MIL finally said “proves” there were only 3 wise men. Um those were very expensive gifts at the time, and who said the folks didn’t pool their resources for the presents? (There I go being evil again).

Midas that had me laughing at my desk.

Dan

November 24th, 2009
2:48 pm

Just a little toke of the kind stuff before coming downstairs to deal with everyone usually helps me cope quite well.

Tips

November 24th, 2009
3:00 pm

Here is my formula for any holiday: no tv, no video games, no computer, no cellphones (i collect all kid’s cellphones and put them in a cooking bawl in the kitchen), no politics, no controversial topics. You agree with whatever older person says – remember, you can either be right or happy. Every holiday is a wonderful holiday in our house.

PBR and Jager

November 24th, 2009
3:00 pm

Uhhh, Jess? Give me a call Friday and let’s try to hook up. My number is BR-549.

blkshepherd

November 24th, 2009
3:17 pm

To Allie:
First off, No One on here Needs you to inform us that if we cant handle our familes to stay away. I believe anyone with Half of a brain can decide that for themselves. For your INFORMATION(before I even read your post) I had already decided that I was not going to family for either of the holidays. For one thing the Expense, Stress and drama just takes all the fun out of the holiday.
Like Christmas, Folks seem to Forget what both Holidays are Actually about.

Last I checked Thanksgiving Spelled backwards is Giving Thanks. No where is it written we have to Give thanks with family present. People are just sharing their very Real experiences of what happens when families gather. I do BELIEVE the article is asking for folks to share Their experiences which they have. If it bothers you because folks shared their experiences perhaps you should Refrain from reading the comments.

Again, I plan to spend Thanksgiving Alone. Will have all the trimmings and I will be cooking as if I am expecting to serve 8-10 guest. Nope.just me and my 3 shepherds who provide More than enough company. Also I dont have to worry about them having too much to drink. I Will be quite content although I have a huge family. I already declined an offer to go to NYC which is where the bulk of my family lives. I found the older I get the less Tolerence I have for people who cant control their alcohol or emotions. I used to spend it with just me and my moms whom I missed and passed last Oct 08. Its not really the same anymore since shes gone so even surrounded by family I still feel the lost. But instead of spending it with my dysfunctional family I would rather spare myself all the stress, lost of money traveling inwhich I cant afford. and just enjoy a quiet thanksgiving Thanking the Most High for all the blessings bestowed upon me the past year. No where is there written it says You HAVE to spend Thanksgiving, or Christmas with your family. Between the wonderful dinner I am preparing, the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving parade, and watching Mircale on 34th street. the original.It reminds me of just me and my moms anyway. In this case my dogs will fill in for her absence. A wonderful Thanksgiving to all, and Happy Holidays to the folks like myself who choose to spend it alone. Remember You are not alone. HE is right there besides you.

Really

November 24th, 2009
3:40 pm

blkshepherd – most people spend it with their families because they are “thankful” to have them no matter how disfunctional they are…obviously you are not but that’s your perogative. Happy Thanksgiving all!!

Tina

November 24th, 2009
3:42 pm

Of course we’ll have alcohol during all that craziness. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it :) I absolutely love to cook down home southern meals so Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It wears me out with all the shopping and preparing a 12+ course meal but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And like others on here, my mother & brother have passed so my son, his family and my girls will be the only family attending. However, all my friends love my cooking and quite a few of them make it a point every year to do dinner at my house. By 7pm Thursday we’ll be shooting pool, playing cards and probably half lit…..It’s gonna be fun at our house!

Huh?

November 24th, 2009
3:45 pm

Thanksgiving spelled backwards is Giving Thanks?

DB

November 24th, 2009
3:46 pm

I guess I’m the odd ball out. I adore my inlaws, and I’m looking forward to spending time with them over the next couple of days. The cousins all get along, and I don’t need to knock back discreet shots in order to keep a smile on my face :-) My sister-in-law is fixing the turkey, I am bringing the ham, together, my SIL, MIL and I agreed on who was bringing what side dish and dessert — we’ll have a relatively early dinner, take a walk around the lake, and then eat desserts and play games all evening. No divorces to mull over, no drunks to edge around — thank goodness for a boring life :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Actually, blkshepherd...

November 24th, 2009
3:47 pm

…Thanksgiving spelled backwards is gnivigsknahT – and I cannot pronounce that!

If you reverse the words in Thanksgiving you get giving thanks, but the spelling is a total ‘nother issue!

Really

November 24th, 2009
3:56 pm

Tina, sounds fun…that’s how my family does it too. Laid back, no fighting, just fun times together…

Tina

November 24th, 2009
4:34 pm

@Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way would you? I mean honestly, if getting together with family caused me as much grief as some here, I would just plan a vacation every year and relax on the beach somewhere. This year has been rough enough on society with lay offs and such, we all need to just sit back, relax (drink a few if needed) and enjoy our time off from work. At least most of us have that pleasure. Everyone have a great holiday. Mine begins right now whoo hoo!!!!

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
4:38 pm

@Tina….what is a 12 course meal? How can anyone eat that many courses?
Sounds like a LOT of food!

FCM

November 24th, 2009
4:41 pm

ROFL! @ Actually, blkshepherd… I was going to point that out until you did.

Am I the only one who has a Mom who loves to play the Martyr card? You know she slaved all day to make the meal, and we finished it in like 30 min. That she works all week and to spend her time – off cooking etc. You get the idea.

We have ALL offered to cater or to make things to bring. She says no and asks what is wrong with her cooking that we don’t want to eat it. Obviously we make those offers because we don’t want to hear the martyrdom but she never sees it that way…even though we tell her it is to take the burden off her.

Tiffany

November 24th, 2009
4:47 pm

Before we go to our family get togethers- this includes all of them, really…I go over what subjects we are not allowed to bring up-this could vary depending on the year, because you never know what kids or even your husband might say should they be unprepared. We go over good manners, polite conversation, ect. That does help a lot. Also, going along with whatever Grandma says and not provoking ANYONE even siblings and cousins is a good idea. Jesse’s Girl, your Uncle’s prayer cracked me up…it reminds me of holiday get togethers at my in-laws. Every year they single someone out in front of the entire family to pray over and ask for help such as Uncle Jimmy’s drinking problem or Cousin Kevin’s financial trouble…I just try to keep a low profile and smile and not say too much. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

penguinmom

November 24th, 2009
4:49 pm

DB – you aren’t the odd one out. I have lots of friends who really enjoy their in-laws. I used to – before kids. After, there were just too many differing opinions to make it pleasant. Obviously, I am not one who keeps my thoughts to myself easily. :-)

I am trying to concentrate on thankfulness this whole month. On my FB account, I’m writing one thing I’m thankful for each day. It has been interesting coming up with 23 (so far) different things to list, especially if I’ve had a bad day.

catlady

November 24th, 2009
5:28 pm

Well, unlike usual, this year there is a lot of stress because younger daughter is getting married soon in an exotic setting and expects that we will be there but her two siblings are living on little money due to job loss. Groom’s family has similar problems. Younger daughter and groom were begged to reconsider the venue (she and groom are paying for it) but refused. So now several members of the small wedding party are not going (she has paid for their food and housing already) and everyone is mad because they made it clear 4 months ago that it was a no-go with their financial situations and she is accusing them of being selfish and rainng on her parade.

Add tiredness and alcohol and it should be lots of fun.

motherjanegoose

November 24th, 2009
6:00 pm

@ tina…my initial post never surfaced and we DO feel that it would be easier to go to the beach.

This due to the fact that my husband’s family lives in Kansas ( except his sister in Denver whom we do visit but not on holidays) and think that Kansas IS the center of the universe.. No one has ever entertained coming here. Why would you when it is easier for everyone to come to you?

We went many years and endured alcoholic parents who are chain smokers and my father in law cursing like a sailor. He also yelled at the grandkids as they were roughhousing. There were 5 boys from 11-16 and we were inside ( cold) in a small house with 18 people total crammed like sardines into their house. We spent time getting there , $$$ eating other meals besides the actual dinner, staying in a hotel, renting a car , boarding our dog and finally realized that it was not worth it. We came home sick every time ( Doctor visit and $$$) and once my son ended up having sinus surgery….the smoke set off a terrible infection!

Yes, we would rather go to the beach. I am thinking that if you can get to your family in 4 hours or less, this may be worth putting up with them but our closest family is 8 hours. Anyone is welcome to come here but that does not happen, so we enjoy our time here.

We DID go to my sister’s a few times in Wisconsin but now that the kids both work…it is tough.

catlady..want to come over here…no cats as I am allergic…hahaha! My daughter is cooking most of the dinner…she is 17 and loves it! We shopped together yesterday and she has everything all planned out. Went in the dining room today to look and she what dishes she wants to serve in.
I am counting my blessings!